March is a weird month for food. You’re pretty much over comfort food, but you still don’t have many options in the way of fresh fruits and vegetables. The tomatoes still look and taste like pink baseballs, lettuce is still of the pale and limp variety, and zucchinis taste pretty much like air. There’s just not that much we can do about it. [Read more...]
It seems that in the food blogging world (and ok, maybe the world in general) something a little obnoxious starts happening in early February. All of the food starts turning pink. Or red. Or covered in chocolate. Or becomes inexplicably heart-shaped. [Read more...]
Oftentimes, I find an simple-looking recipe, tag it for a weeknight on sight, and go about my business. Come the weeknight in question, I gather up my ingredients only to realize upon reading the recipe that the recipe has some weird quirks that make it not quite so simple. It might be lots of prep (endless chopping, anyone?), or a sauce that needs a bit too much attention at an hour when my children are both seemingly losing their minds, or, worst of all, the use of more than the absolute minimum requirement of pots and pans. Recipes that sound simple, but aren’t, are the bane of my weeknight existence. Sure, there’s a place for involved, slow, layered recipes. Tuesday night is not that place. [Read more...]
Several weeks ago, I saw a recipe for preserved lemons (another goodie from Jerusalem: A Cookbook… I seriously need to get that cookbook already!), and decided it would be a fun thing to try. I had a huge bag of lemons, so it seemed the perfect opportunity. I salted the lemons, shoved them in a jar, waited a week, then added more lemon juice and olive oil, and then waited some more. You know what? Turns out I don’t like waiting. I had to hide them out of sight because they were driving me crazy from curiosity and impatience.
A funny thing starts to happen when you’ve been writing a food blog for a while. You’re always wanting to share the new interesting thing that you tried- something other people will find exciting, too. But in doing that, I realize that I start forgetting that the recipes I use over and over again, my go-to weeknight meals and family favorites, get largely neglected. I take them for granted, and it doesn’t often occur to me that there are people out there that don’t make them.
This recipe, for one. It’s something that my mom has been making as long as I can remember, and it’s been passed on to so many friends, neighbors, etc. that I’m sure this recipe’s made it halfway across the world. We always called it Chicken Diablo, but in researching what Chicken Diablo actually is, I’m pretty sure it’s not even close to being that. It’s basically chicken breasts baked in a buttery honey-mustard sauce. See, doesn’t that sound so unexciting? Not exactly blog-worthy. Except that it is. [Read more...]
You doubted me, didn’t you? You thought maybe after moving, having a baby, and then going back to work that I just might forget about this little old blog. Have a little faith, people! Sure, it’s taken me a few weeks to get back into the saddle in the kitchen, and then a few more to make anything even worth sharing with you. But, here I am.
Granted, for a while, the recipes you see here might all fall into the category of “things you can cook with only one free hand.” Or, “things you can eat hot… or cold, hours later, after the baby has finally gone to sleep.” And the ever popular, “things you probably don’t even need a recipe for because they are so simple.” If you hang in there with me for long enough, I’m sure at some point I’ll work my way back to the layer cakes of yesteryear, but for now, I’m all about simplicity. [Read more...]
I’ve never really felt compelled to make meatballs. Or even order them at a restaurant for that matter. So many times, meatballs are just that: ground meat, with little else mixed in, shaped into balls and plopped in an only slightly more interesting sauce. Before the protestations start, I’m sure that your Italian grandmother makes the best meatballs in the world and they are nothing like what I’m describing, but… I don’t have an Italian grandmother, ok? I get a little jealous when one of my good friends talks about going over to her grandma’s to make Sunday dinner with meatballs and gnocchi and cannolis and all those other magical-sounding things. So, suffice it to say, my experience with meatballs has been limited, and less-than-stellar.
That is, until I met these. They’re made of ground chicken, of all things, which was one of the things that I never gave a second glance to at the grocery store. I’ve tried it with turkey, too, and the results are just as good. The great thing about these meatballs is that they aren’t heavy or dense- they’re packed with flavor, sure, but they don’t sit at the bottom of your stomach like a tomato sauce-covered rock. They’re good served with a side of pasta, but kind of even better, somehow, on their own, with the peperonata. I’ll admit that the first time I made these, I skipped the peperonata. Ok, maybe the first two times I made them. It kind of sounded like it wasn’t really my thing, and the meatballs are so good on their own, I didn’t see the point. [Read more...]
After a week of cooking things that left me feeling a little bit… dissatisfied, I think maybe I just need to go back to the basics. Something that time after time, turns out well and makes me think that maybe I’m not a complete cooking failure. Experimentation is all well and good, and admittedly, how I’ve come upon some of my all-time favorite recipes, but sometimes I need to take a step back and make something that won’t frustrate me, that won’t betray my hopes and dreams for it, and that won’t taste like a waste of time.
Enter Chicken Marbella. Is there anyone out there who hasn’t made this? I hope not. It’s one of those things that while somewhat impressive, is simple to make and really delivers in the flavor department. Also, for some reason, it always makes me feel vaguely nostalgic. I don’t really know why; I don’t remember eating this as a kid. Actually, I’m positive I didn’t eat this as a kid, because there would have been no way that I would have eaten something with both olives AND prunes in it when I was a child. I think it’s because it’s from the Silver Palate Cookbook, which was always on my mom’s kitchen counter. Just the site of the book, with all its gorgeous pictures, brings me back to the house where I grew up. Isn’t that strange? They say that smell is most closely tied to memory, but I guess cookbooks do it for me, too. [Read more...]